Nistler CoBPA Faculty Research

Celebrate the impact of our research.

Dr. Chih Ming Tan contributed chapter the Handbook of Famine, Starvation, and Nutrient Deprivation

Dr. Chih Ming Tan, Professor and Page Endowed Chair in Applied Economics, recently wrote a chapter that will be appearing in the Handbook of Famine, Starvation, and Nutrient Deprivation published by Springer Nature in 2019.

Tan C.M., Rockmore M. (2018) Famine in Ghana and Its Impact. In: Preedy V., Patel V. (eds) Handbook of Famine, Starvation, and Nutrient Deprivation. Springer, Cham


In many developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture plays a central role in economic life. This was particularly true in Ghana during the early 1980s, as the sector employed a little over half of the total labor force and accounted for close to 60% of gross domestic product (GDP; World Development Indicators). In the absence of any irrigation, rainfall levels largely determined agricultural output and therefore the livelihoods of much of the population. While Ghana experienced droughts throughout its history, the 1981–1983 drought stands out for its severity. This chapter examines the origins of the drought and the resultant famine before tracing out its immediate and long-run consequences on a wide range of health outcomes.